Influenza in Australia (Update 1)
06 Sep 2017
The winter 'flu season in Australia continues, with the Australian Department of Health reporting rising case numbers in the fortnight ending 18 August 2017.
For the year to 18 August, 93 711 cases of influenza have been reported from: New South Wales (45 487); Queensland (24 662); Victoria (9 645); South Australia (8 921); Western Australia (2 004); Australian Capital Territory (1 138); Tasmania (1 108) and Northern Territory (746).
Advice for Travellers
Travellers to a country during its influenza season are at similar risk of infection to local residents.
Crowded conditions encourage spread of infection and travellers can be exposed, for example in those attending pilgrimages (e.g. the Hajj), in aircraft, waiting rooms, buses, bars, hotels and on cruises.
The composition of the 2016/2017 UK influenza vaccine includes the H1N1 strain. Travellers included in the government's at risk groups should ensure that they receive the annual influenza vaccine, particularly if travel is anticipated. Travellers outwith these groups may wish to obtain the vaccine privately (if still available) if concerned.
- One of the most important ways of preventing the spread of infection is careful and frequent hand washing.
- If soap, clean water and towels are not available, alcohol hand rub can be used.
- If possible avoid crowded places.
- If possible avoid coughs and sneezes.
For further information see Influenza.